Protecting your accounts from fraud

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Representatives from the American Bankers Association say their surveys show -- there's an estimated $1.2 billion dollars in credit card fraud annually in the U.S.

Now, some thieves are trying to use your money by linking automatic payments to your debit or credit card. American Bankers Association reps say it’s a really rare approach, since the thief would be required to give some information, risking anonymity.

But a station staff member at CBS4 was recently targeted. Someone was using their debit card to pay for a DISH subscription, and even after the card was shut-down, charges appeared on the new car. The victim was told, that’s because VISA gave his new card info to DISH since there was a “prior relationship” with that business, and banks don't automatically stop that funding.

American Bankers Association representatives say some banks do keep automatic payments going from an old card for a period of time as a courtesy to give you time to change the information. It’s something to keep in mind while watching your account. They say banks always monitor any unusual transactions, but all of us can help by checking our own accounts closely.

“Unfortunately, a lot of fraud which occurs within the environment is ‘friendly fraud,’ which is fraud perpetrated by somebody you know, so it can be that you’ve given your pin number to somebody or you make your pin number available by putting it on the back of your card,” said Doug Johnson, Senior Vice President of Payments and Cyber Security Policy at the American Bankers Association.

“The customer has to be an important part in this whole process of trying to protect the credit and debit card environment – it’s really when we have the customer, the bank, and the merchant all operating together to try to limit these frauds that are most successful,” Johnson said.

Johnson says if you act fast, the bank can act fast too: For every dollar lost by fraud, he says banks were able to keep almost three dollars from getting stolen.

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